New FD appointment at defence group Chemring lifts shares

January 3, 2013

Chemring Group, the defence group which owns Corsham-based missile manufacturer Leafield Engineering, has appointed Steve Bowers as group finance director with effect from January 7.

He will take over from Nigel Young, who was appointed interim chief financial officer last July.

Steve, pictured, was finance director of advanced composite manufacturer Umeco until its acquisition by Cytec last July. He joined Umeco in 1998, having studied at Bristol University and qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG, and went on to hold a number of financial roles, alongside the role of company secretary.

During that time Umeco was transformed in scale and focus with Steve closely involved in acquisitions and disposals, as well as in the management of its financial reporting, treasury functions and banking relationships.

His appointment at Chemring led to a 5% rise in its share price. Last year the group, which also has its countermeasures business in Salisbury, lost its finance director and chief executive, issued two profit warnings and subject to a failed bid by US private equity group Carlyle – all of which hit its share price.

Chemring chairman Peter Hickson said: “I am delighted to welcome Steve to Chemring’s board. He played a central financial role at Umeco during a period of considerable change, and his excellent knowledge of the international aerospace and defence industries will be of great benefit to the group.

“Following Mark Papworth’s recent arrival as CEO, Steve’s appointment is another important step in strengthening our executive management team, as we commit to rebuilding operational and financial performance and delivering improved returns for shareholders.”

Chemring acquired Leafield Engineering, a niche designer, assembler and supplier of complex components and systems to the defence industry, and sister company Leafield Marine for £5m in 2006.

The acquisition gave Chemring improved access to the European complex weapon market.



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